After our March Madness of three different groups of visitors (part 1, part 2 and part 3 here!), we were ready for a quieter April. It was so quiet in fact, that it’s almost gone and it feels like we haven’t done much. But in reality, we are still enjoying our last few months of island life and can’t believe we’re coming up on the two-year mark…FAST!
I occasionally get emails from blog readers that aren’t my family (I’m surprised too – people read this!?). Back in July of 2015 I got a note from a woman from Nashville who had questions about our life on St. Thomas and our most-asked question: What on earth brought you to the Caribbean? She let me know that she and her husband were planning to move to the island in about six months. We exchanged a few emails and I always loved hearing about her preparations, remembering what it was like to go through the fear, anxiety, excitement and absolute joy of moving to the USVI can bring. After months of emailing, she reconnected with me at the beginning of the month to say she and her husband had arrived on the rock! It’s always a joy to meet new people – even though she felt like an old friend – who have made the same leap as you have. We got to have coffee one morning and I drove her to Scott Beach for a quick “I’M HERE” moment. She’s started a blog for her own journey here. Welcome to the island!!
The weather last weekend was unbelievably clear. It was like the Caribbean was telling us to soak it up before the dusty haze of summer sets in. The ocean looked like a lake for three days!
Work is winding down for Dan as his contract is up in just a couple of weeks. He will be working at the hospital for a bit as we wind down our island time, but his official contract is ending. My work has been going well too, and I recently got to write my first print adver-torial for a British Virgin Islands lifestyle publication. Here’s the link to the online version, but it’s been really cool to see my byline in print. I’ve been traveling to the BVI a little more regularly to do more exploring for the magazine so I’m excited to see where that goes.
Believe it or not, I’m now teaching spin classes six or seven times a week. At that rate, it’s no surprise that last week I taught my 100th class! I’ve really grown to love it and am excited to head into the studio every day. Rest days are important, but I find myself getting antsy on days I’m not teaching! I’ve contacted a studio in Des Moines and hopefully will get to continue to teach spin once we islanders are back in Iowa.
Another development in our island family has been the arrival of this (furry) nugget. Our friend Chris found her near a dumpster on the north side and took her to the Humane Society. Dan has always wanted to get a second dog and we thought it would be nice to have a piece of St. Thomas to take home with us. That being said, we have to make sure any second dog, of island sort or any other, gets along with our Marley. Chris and the Humane Society has named her DeeDee and we are fostering her while she gets up to date on her vaccinations and other health checks. Fostering is a good way to see if and how she will get along with Marley as well. So far he wants very little to do with her, but we’re giving it time.
It’s carnival time here on St. Thomas and things are definitely heating up! We are headed to the food fair on Wednesday and maybe get in a little parade action on Saturday. We’re a little spoiled with our love for St. John Carnival, but we want to soak up some Caribbean flair before it’s less accessible. We have some fun weekend trips planned in our last months here so I’m excited.
It’s been a little stressful couple of weeks with the foster pup (who has been incredibly sick), work and just life in general. It feels very strange to say I’m ready to leave, but when our time comes, it will feel right. I keep getting little signals, God winks, universal signs – whatever you want to call them – that it’s the right time to head back stateside. I walked into the spin studio last week and met a man who was visiting the island on vacation. “Welcome! Where are you from?” I asked. His reply? Iowa.
We’ve had the most amazing experiences and adventures here. I don’t regret a minute. I texted my girlfriends V and A after a particularly hard week and they filled me up with smiles. I got a care package today from the Norths and it couldn’t have come at a better time!! Lots of goodies for both me and Dan and the sweetest framed photo of our six-person island family. Makes me cherish the time we have left even more.
Wherever you are today, know that it’s where you’re supposed to be. I had to take a dose of my own medicine the last couple of weeks and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Everything is temporary, so if you start wishing things were different, you may wake up one day and realize they are – and you weren’t ready for it yet.
Soaking up all the sun we can.